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Kenneth Jameson ()

Journal of Community Positive Practices, 2012, issue 4, 601-615

Abstract: Immigration and the role of immigrants in U.S. society continue to be contested, though the effects of the 2012 Presidential election may lessen the national polarization. The experience of Utah both illustrates the tension in immigrant integration and offers insights into a successful attempt to address the issues. The Utah stance toward migrants has been and continues to be “blurred.†Several policies are quite welcoming, and the principles in the Utah Compact have provided a basis for measured discussion and have stopped new anti- immigrant legislation from being passed. The end result has been a relatively successful integration process that has melded the native attitudes toward immigrants, with the immigrants’ capabilities and efforts to integrate. So in contrast with other states, such as Arizona or Alabama, the mutual benefits that immigration offers have been largely realized. Most importantly, the immigrants, both documented and undocumented, have actively pursued integration with Utah society on a whole series of dimensions, from obtaining driver privilege cards to participating in political activity. They may be transnational actors, but they clearly exhibit a commitment to their new physical location. As such they have been quite active participants in brokering the boundaries between them and the wider Utah society. This, along with the evolution of policy and attitudes in the state, has led to very positive results in terms of their social mobility and health outcomes, exactly as we would expect from the history of a nation of immigrants.

Keywords: immigration; integration; undocumented; brokered boundaries; demography (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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